Autor u ovom radu istražuje religiozno-društveno poslanje Crkve prema homilijama O statuama Ivana Zlatoustog. Prije početka istraživanja središnje teme objašnjava kulturnopovijesni kontekst Antiohije u kojem homilije nastaju. Povezujući konkretni društveni kontekst i homilije autor objašnjava poslanje Crkve te provodi teološku sintezu poslanja Crkve. U tom smislu rad je podijeljen na tri cjeline. U prvoj cjelini se kroz tri poglavlja obrađuje kulturno-povijesni kontekst. Istražuje se život Ivana Zlatoustog, grad Antiohija i značajnost događaja rušenja carskih statua koje su povod nastanku homilija. Druga cjelina donosi istraživanje poslanja Crkve. Crkva u konkretnom društvu ima društveno i religiozno poslanje. U prvom poglavlju se pokazuje kako kršćanska mudrost doprinosi rješenju situacije. Drugo poglavlje obrazlaže odvajanje Crkve od drugih religijskih skupina prikazujući tako da ona može postati uzor u gradu koji će izmoliti oprost. Treća cjelina jest teološka sinteza poslanja Crkve i podijeljena je na četiri poglavlja. Prvo poglavlje prikazuje Crkvu koja skrbi za vjerodostojnost kršćanskih zajednica, drugo poglavlje prikazuje Crkvu u odnosu prema društvu i društvenim pitanjima, treće poglavlje prikazuje utjecaj kršćanske misli na društvo u kojem homilije nastaju, posljednje poglavlje donosi dvije ključne pretpostavke za ostvarivanje poslanja Crkve.
John Chrysostom preached The Homilies on the Statues during lent of 387. The name of the homilies is the main event that happened during that lent. Emperor Theodosius announced new tax for the whole Empire. Citizens of Antioch assumed that they could not pay the tax, so they started a riot. It took place on the statues and the paintings of the Emperor. After the riot on the statues, the Emperor could destroy the city. The great existential crisis started in the city. Meanwhile John Chrysostom started to preach his famous homilies. This theme is recent for the research for three reasons. First reason is John Chrysostom who was one of the greatest patristic preachers and this research will be about one of his first homilies Second reason is that this research is the sequence of the author’s licentiate thesis. Third reason is the theme of the mission of the Church which is one of the themes of fundamental theology. The methodology of the research is to start from cultural-historical context of Antioch which includes the life of John Chrysostom, the city of Antioch and the importance of the riot of the statues. The object of the research is to present how John Chrysostom views the mission of the Church in the particular context. The research lies on analytic and descriptive methods. The context is analyzed. Descriptive method is used for the homilies. Parts in homilies which are about ecclesiology or the mission of the Church are searched and separated. According to methodology the research is divided in three main chapters. The first chapter is about cultural-historical context, the second chapter about description of the mission of the Church and the third chapter puts this particular mission of the Church in a wider context of John Chrysostom’s ecclesiology.
The Cultural-Historical Context of the Homilies On the Statues
Before examining the cultural-historical context, the research begins with a brief explanation of Late Antiquity. The chapter is divided into three subchapters. In the first one, analyzed is John Chrysostom, the date of his birth and his education. John Chrysostom preached the homilies when he was 38 years old. He was educated in the rhetorical school of Libanius and in the Antiochene theological school. The subchapter explains the influence these schools had on John Chrysostom’s life. The second subchapter examines late antique Antioch. Antioch was the third biggest city in the Roman Empire. It was a multicultural and tolerant city where many immigrants came. The subchapter describes the city of Antioch during the period of late antiquity, starting from Libanius’ orations about the beauty of the city, the importance of the city during the wars with Persia. Special emphasis is put in the years of Theodosius’ reign and on his response to economic crisis, which affected social classes, public activities and trade, the themes that John Chrysostom preached about different classes, and about the crisis which caused immigration and relocation of trade from the East to the Mediterranean. The last part of the second subchapter is about the religion in the city. Paganism was slowly abandoned, and Christianity was on the rise. The tension between the two religions grew stronger every day. The last subchapter deals with the riot in which the statues where destroyed. It brings which persons were responsible for the event. However, interpretations of John Chrysostom and Libanius differ. The statues could have been pulled down by a theatrical claque, pagans, Christians or foreigners. The destruction of the statues is a damnatio memoriae, which literally means the “damnation of memory” or destroying the memory of important persons, such as emperors. That disrespectful event led to desire of emperor Theodosius to destroy the city. The judges came from Constantinople to investigate the situation. The bishop Flavian went to the emperor to beg for forgiveness while John Chrysostom stayed in the city where preached. He preached 22 homilies trying to calm down the citizens who wanted to flee.
Mission of the Church according to The Homilies of the Statues
The central part of the research is the description of the mission of the Church. It is separated in three wider groups which are the main themes of the three subchapters. The Church answered to the existential crisis in the city. The homilies gave the answer how to behave in this specific situation. Then first subchapter is about Christian wisdom. Christians have specific behavior from their belief. They could use the specific Lenten period to solve the existential crisis in the city. The subchapter brings how John Chrysostom taught the Christians about fasting, bringing together different economical classes and finally how Christian could have example behavior in the city. The second subchapter is about differences between Christians, pagans and Jews. John Chrysostom separates Christians from pagans by forbidding them to visit any kind of pagan places such are theatres and hippodromes. On the other side he forbids them to use the oath because it is something that is familiar to pagans and Jews. Christians do not need to go the theatre because the theatric claques started the riot. The oaths are useless when people trust to each other only by true speak.
Theological Synthesis of the Mission of the Church
This research needs to have a theological synthesis of the mission of the Church. The second chapter brings only descriptive method of the mission of the Church according to The Homilies of the Statues. Last chapter put previous chapters in the ecclesiology of the John Chrysostom. He is the undoubted famous theologian who used his knowledge to bring people to God. Ecclesiology of The Homilies of the Statues is a part of his theology. The research collects the elements of the mission of the Church in these homilies. It brings them together with his other works. The chapter is divided in four subchapters. First three subchapters are about the synthesis of the mission of the Church and last subchapter brings the presumptions for this synthesis. The subchapters about the mission of the Church are separated according to the internal or external mission of the Church. John Chrysostom was attentive for credibility of the community. He wanted to move their inner spiritual life near Christ, sacraments and church life. The Church could not stay away from the society especially when there was existential crisis which he used as a pedagogical instruction. Authentic Christian behavior could deal with the crisis and get the God’s forgiveness. John Chrysostom wanted to shout down the sinners who curse on the Emperor. The Christians got the moral lesson. If the Christians had obeyed to God’s commands, crisis would not have started. The Christian way of thinking has important part in the life education. During the existential crisis many families were shut in the houses. The people in the city were worried about consequences. Therefore, John Chrysostom advised them to live simpler and humble life, like monks as he was. The ascesis could help Christians to stay calm. The last subchapter concludes why the mission of the Church in these homilies is similar to other ecclesiological themes of John Chrysostom’s preaching. The Church is always connected to the God’s word. John Chrysostom did not say some other theology than what he could understand from the tradition, past and the Scriptures. Second is the place where he preached. He preached in the church, and the occasion is always the same. He preached during the liturgy. His homilies are always connected to the church and Christian practices. The chapter concludes that the mission of the Church is the same and stabile. The most important is that the ecclesiology is independent from the temporary existential crisis.
In the end of this research it is concluded that The Homilies of the Statues have strong expression of the mission of the Church. The existential crisis brought it up because John Chrysostom wanted from community to behave in God’s plan. John Chrysostom preached to the community about specific Christian way of living. The Christians are separated from pagans and Jews, they had their Christian wisdom. The Church and the city society are not the same. The existential crisis helped John Chrysostom to sharp the mission of the Church but still it is the same mission as in his other works.